Myanmar club Kanbawza beat Cambodian side Phnom Penh Crown 4-3 in the AFC President’s Cup Wednesday in Bishkek
SOE Min Oo scored a sparkling hattrick as Myanmar league winners Kanbawza fought back to emerge 4-3 winners over Cambodia's Phnom Penh Crown in Group C of the 2009 AFC President Cup in the Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek Wednesday.
With Crown making its debut in the competition, the Myanmar champions, who were eliminated in the group stage last year, took control quickly, with Soe Min Oo opening the scoring after seven minutes.
The early goal served as a wake-up call to Crown, who took over possession and found an equaliser a quarter of an hour later thanks to Cameroonian midfielder Oscar Mpoko. Barely a minute had lapsed before Crown's star striker Jean-Roger Lappe Lappe, also from Cameroon, gave his side the lead from a converted penalty kick.
Lappe Lappe then doubled his tally with a stunning strike in the 30th minute to put his side up by two. With four goals in the first third of the game, the fans in the capacity filled Spartak stadium were certainly having value for money.
The goals didn't stop coming, with Kanbawza defender Khin Maung Lwin pulling one back eight minutes before the interval. Man of the match Soe Min Oo notched his second almost immediately afterwards to bring the sides level before unleashing a shot from just outside the penalty area just before halftime that had too much pace for Crown keeper Sos Brothim, to complete the Myanmar forward's hattrick and take his side into the break one ahead.
With seven goals in the first period, the second half turned out to be a drab affair with both teams missing glaring chances to see Kanbawza run out 4-3 winners in what could be a nail in the coffin to Crown's chances of qualifying for the next round.
Meanwhile, Group C's later kickoff in Bishkek between Kyrgyzstan champions Dordoi-Dynamo Naryn and Bhutan top side Yeedzin FC turned out to be a one-sided contest, with the home side smashing in seven for no reply.
Dynamo frontman Mirlan Murzaev scored a fantastic four, two either side of the interval, while strike-partner David Tetteh of Ghana grabbed a brace, and substitute Artem Muladjanov also put his name on the scoresheet.
Dordoi-Dynamo have dominated the competition in the past four years, winning twice and coming runners-up twice in the past four editions. According to the Federation's official Web site the-AFC.com, Dynamo coach Sergey Dvoryankov is hoping that his team's experience at the continental level will help them progress to the semifinals, which seems highly likely after their 7-0 demolition of Yeedzin.
However, Russian-born Maksim Kretov, who is Dordoi's top scorer in the domestic league, missed the match and will miss the group stage since he joined the club after the AFC President's Cup registrations were over.
Defending champions Tajikistan's Regar-TadAZ and Turkmenistan's Ashgabat had already qualified for the semifinals last month by winning Group A and B respectively. The best runners-up team from among the three groups will complete the final four line-up.
Photos by Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)